RECAP posted below!
“Escaping Polygamy” presents the story you thought you might never see. The team gets contacted by Raymond Jeffs, son of Warren Jeffs, the incarcerated leader of the FLDS sect. The young man asks that Jessica, Andrea and Shannel make contact with his brother Isaac who remained behind when Raymond fled the polygamous group.
In an exclusive sneak peek posted below, you get some background from Raymond Jeffs, son of the notorious leader. His story is chilling, and not just because he speaks about watching children his age get “married” to his father. It’s how unremarkable it seems to him, because of how he was raised.
The team steps up to assist Raymond save his brother Isaac, but as you’d expect, this operation is complicated. Tensions flare when the plot gets exposed. In the previous two episodes of “Escaping Polygamy” the team went toe-to-toe with FLDS’ God Squad during their unsuccessful attempts to rescue one or both daughters of Suzette, a mom who escaped the organization, but was forced to leave Susie May and Rosie behind.
This season on “Escaping Polygamy”, the many people who enlist help from the girls include a son of powerful FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs who leaves the religion to find his mother who he has been separated from for most of his life; a mother hoping to find her daughters who have been hidden within an elite group in the FLDS community; and a young girl who desperately wants to rescue the love of her life in a dangerous mission that further exposes the dark and treacherous realities of polygamy.
Isaac’s case was complex, and not just because he was surrounded by seven other young men in the house where he resided. Isaac was not ready to rebuke his father’s status as the Prophet or to believe, at least on the record, that he molested underage girls.
He didn’t miss his brother Raymond, the only full-blood sibling of his mother, one of some 80 wives Warren Jeffs took prior to being jailed. He didn’t even know that Raymond sent the team to find him, but he came to the conclusion that it was time for hm to go. He discussed living without his mother, who was sent away from her children when they were very young, and then his father after his incarceration.
Raymond noticed that Isaac had joined social media networks and was posting, something that was forbidden in FLDS. It gave him the inkling that something was changing and he was right. Isaac had been coming to the conclusion that he wanted out, and for the most normal of reasons.
Jeffs, from jail, ordered that there could be no sexual contact between the men and women of the FLDS. If you wanted to be cynical, you could say that Warren Jeffs refused anyone the pleasure while he was denied his. It’s difficult to think otherwise. What it meant to those that weren’t already married was the end of a dream to fall in love, express that love in the most normal way and build a family.
For a polygamous sect it was the most outrageous of rules and Isaac couldn’t hold true to this father’s edict. He wanted a girlfriend, and ultimately a wife with whom he would have his own children. He hung his head, almost in shame, when he told Andrea and Jessica upon their first meeting.
He was so ready to go that he told the women that he wanted it to be within the next couple of days. Under that quick deadline, the women huddled with their security team and built a plan of attack. Isaac worked nearby at a concrete plant with the other boys in his house, and suggested a daytime escape, built around his lunch break.
Once again, the gathering of personal belongings took so much time that the escape was endangered. His absence at lunch time was noticed and multiple men began to surround the SUVs waiting for Isaac to come out of the house with Jessica and Shannel. There was an agitated German Shepherd that luckily wasn’t encouraged to attack, even when the boys began to realize who was about to move locations.
Unfortunately for Isaac, the young men got to him and tried to keep him from doing what they were taught would condemn him to a status worse than being in hell. They didn’t get physical with him, but in his fragile emotional state, Jessica feared he would melt and turn back. He didn’t, although quite shaken by the experience.
Miles away he was reunited with Raymond and it took him by surprise. He got emotional and admitted that he was happy and relieved to see him. As the team made clear, the transition, particularly in the immediate aftermath of this kind of rescue, with verbal confrontation, would be tough. Raymond welcomed him, and said he would take Isaac to live with him in Arizona, to begin again.
What isn’t clear is how the brothers can coexist without debating the guilt of their father for his crimes. How did you experience the story of Isaac Jeffs? Were you moved by it?
“Escaping Polygamy” is produced for A&E Network by RIVR Media. Executive producers for RIVR Media are Dee Haslam, Rob Lundgren, and Lori Stryer. Jennifer Wagman serves as executive producer for A&E Network.
“Escaping Polygamy” airs Mondays on A&E TV, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT Image/video credit: A&E, used with permission